Chronology: Regional Affairs

The Middle East Journal, Summer 2002 | Go to article overview

Chronology: Regional Affairs


Jan. 16: US President George W. Bush, citing security concerns, barred union representation at the US attorney's offices and four other Justice Department agencies. [NYT, 1/161

Jan. 24: US Budget Director Mitchell E. Daniels Jr. said that President Bush had voiced his request for a $38 billion increase to the $328 billion that Congress had authorized for defense spending during the fiscal year, and an additional $10 billion for operational costs of war. [NYT, 1/24]

Jan. 25: President Bush said that the United States was "still under attack," and proposed doubling the amount that the government spends on domestic security by $38 billion annually. [NYT, 1/25]

Jan. 28: Vice President Dick Cheney endorsed a proposal for the creation of a domestic defense command within the Pentagon, in which a four-star officer would oversee all military personnel involved in protecting the US coastlines and airspace. The command would provide support to local authorities in the event of a terrorist attack. [NYT, 1/28]

Feb. 6: The Pentagon prepared a recommendation for President Bush to create an office, the Northern Command, which would take control of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, a command that directs the defense of skies over the United States and Canada from Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, and reported that Canadian partners supported the plan. [NYT, 2/ 6]

At a visit to the University of Pittsburgh, President Bush said that he envisioned a broad emergency alert system that would warn the country of biological attacks. He described the system as a modernized version of the Cold War's Distant Early Warning System. [NYT, 2/6]

Feb. 13: John M. Poindexter, a retired Navy Admiral and former National Security Advisor, took command of the Information Awareness Office, a new agency that develops technologies that would give federal officials instant access to vast new surveillance and information-analysis systems. [NYT, 2/13]

The Justice Department organized a special team of lawyers, led by Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson, to oversee all court challenges to the government's policy to detain indefinitely suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. [NYT, 213]

Feb. 15. The FBI dropped its search for six men of the 17 men linked in a public alert to a possible terrorist attack, after learning that the six men were already in Yemeni custody. [NYT, 2/15]

Feb. 16: President Bush said that a Peace Corps team would visit Afghanistan to assess how the program could help to reconstruct the country. [NYT, 2/16]

Feb. 27: Secretary Rumsfeld reported that three hundred men from 26 countries were held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as prisoners of the Afghan war, and that they would not be returned to their own countries while the Pentagon was drawing up the final rules for military tribunals. [NYT, 2/27]

Mar. 2: The Pentagon announced plans to send hundreds of US Special Forces soldiers in an "advise and assist" mission that would aid the Yemeni military in its fight against armed groups linked to al-Qa'ida. [WP, 3/2]

During a visit to Washington, DC, Egyptian President Husni Mubarak offered to host an Israeli-Palestinian summit, and insisted that the US heighten its involvement in the Middle East as a peacemaker. [WP, 3/5]

Mar. 3: In response to President Mubarak's appeal for greater US peacemaking in the Arab-Israeli conflict, President Bush reiterated the United State's position that the Palestinians must first crack down on militant activities. Bush also politely dismissed Mubarak's offer to host an Israeli-Palestinian summit. [WP, 3/3]

Mar. 4: The State Department acknowledged that new US allies in the War Against Terrorism, including Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and Yemen, hold poor human rights records. [AP, 3/5]

Mar. 8: In his first direct talks with an Iraqi representative since November, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan met with Iraqi Foreign Minister Najji Sabri to voice his appeal for Iraq to permit the return of UN weapons inspectors. …

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